Inclusion Spotlight
September, 2022
National Spotlight on Illinois!

On September 20, 2022 the National Center on Early Childhood Quality Assurance, hosted a webinar Inclusion of Young Children with Disabilities: A Critical Quality Indicator for Early Childhood Education.  Our own Emily Ropars presented with Jani Kozlowski from Frank Porter Graham and ECTA to talk about inclusion research, laws, policy and practices as well as the disparities that exist based on race and disability. Emily was able to share the many aspects of the work we do here in Illinois at a national level.

The recording of this webinar is available on Zoom and can be viewed here.

A Celebration of the Implementing, Sustaining and Scaling-Up High Quality Inclusion Project

ECTA, ISBE & Early CHOICES hosted a celebration in September of our three communities that have been focusing on building inclusive preschools in their communities. We honored the communities and their leaders in this work:
  • Kevi Jackson from Springfield
  • Shannon Cribaro from Mannheim
  • Christine Coleman from Collinsville

The initiative is co-led by the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center and the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations (NCPMI) and includes partners from across the early care and education system. The ISBE and Early CHOICES lead the work in Illinois.This initiative focuses on the National Early Childhood Inclusion Indicators with Illinois as a field-test site. This work builds on the Illinois Inclusion Vision Statement and the Inclusion in Illinois Birth to 5 Across Systems Strategic Plan.
This document summarizes the process, identifies the sites, and shows how the indicators are used.

Community Inclusion Teams are a unique strategy to support this effort. The Community Inclusion Teams Report summarizes the efforts and results of the work through December 2021. The short infographics highlight key components.
Attending DEC in Chicago this week?
Be sure to join our conference session:
National, State, and District Partnership to Implement Inclusion

Have you secured your spot for the joint international conference of DEC and ISEI? If you have, it is time to start getting excited about all of the opportunities to connect, learn and grow!

Early CHOICES's Julie Schackmann, Dr. Lise Fox (University of South Florida) and Kevi Jackson (Pre-K Programs Coordinator Springfield D 186) will present a must-see session Wednesday, September 28, 2:15-3:15.

The session will explore how a ECTA, Illinois and Early CHOICES, and Springfield 186 partnered over a two year period of time, during COVID, to provide professional learning, site TA and coaching, and onsite implementation of high quality inclusive practices.

Preschool Inclusion: Educating all Young Children Together
New year, new goals! We are here to support you, wherever you and your team are along your journey of inclusion.This webinar will provide a forum to meet with other districts, hear about various models to implement preschool inclusion, and learn from district representatives that have taken steps to implement plans to increase access to inclusive classrooms. You will have an opportunity to learn what is available to support your district inclusion efforts.

We have two dates to accommodate all those who wish to attend.

Register for one date:

Developmentally Appropriate Practices

Developmentally Appropriate Practices: Maximizing Equitable High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care
OCT 12, 2022
Defining DAP, Core Considerations to Inform Decision Making and DEC's Recommended Practices

NOV 15, 2022
Guiding principles of child development and learning and the implications that inform classroom practices

JAN 24, 2023
Creating a caring, equitable community of learners and engaging in reciprocal partnerships with families

MAR 14, 2023
Observing, Documenting, and Assessing Children's Development and Learning
With all of the initiatives and information about best practices in the field, it can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, there is tremendous overlap between indicators of quality.

We invite you to join ECPL, Early CHOICES and Illinois STARNET for these interactive workshops
to investigate and discuss The National Association for the Education of Young Children’s newly revised (4th edition) Developmentally Appropriate Practices Position Statement and the Division of
Early Childhood’s Recommended Practices.

Together, we will learn how to implement and sustain
evidenced based, developmentally appropriate practices that provide a physical, emotional, and
cognitive environment conducive to development and learning for all learners.

The series is designed
for teachers, classroom assistants, family specialists and administrators.
Inclusive Education Series for Families

Join us for this kick off to the Inclusive Education Series for Families October 20 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. We will focus on understanding inclusion by defining inclusion, the benefits and how important inclusion can be in the life of a young child. We will have a special guest self advocate share their experience with inclusion and their perspective. The series will highlight content from the Understanding Inclusion modules Early CHOICES and EITP have created with families for families.
Register Here for October 20.

Please remember to register for the remain dates in this series:
November 10, 2023Inclusive Education Family Series: Building Relationships
January 19, 2023Inclusive Education Family Series: LRE & Inclusive Practices
February 16, 2023Inclusive Education Family Series: Benefits of Inclusion
March 16, 2023Inclusive Education Family Series: Inclusive Settings and Goal Writing
April 20, 2023Inclusive Education Family Series: Implementing Inclusion and Next Steps

Looking for more Professional Development?

The Illinois State Board of Education hosts a Professional Development Calendar

Early CHOICES, Illinois STAR NET and Early Childhood Professional Learning all post their events on this calendar. The calendar allows users to sort by topic. Just chose Early Childhood to see all the wonderful opportunities for professional learning for early childhood professionals in Illinois.

Not finding what you are looking for?
Check out these sites for on demand learning opportunities
STAR NET (look for On Demand list upper right hand corner)
Early CHOICES (look for Early Childhood Outcomes, Educational Environments, Inclusion Policy Modules and Understanding Inclusion)
Contact us with questions or inquiries into targeted technical assistance for your early care and education program at